If you have an older Japanese car and you haven’t checked to see if the Takata airbag is under recall, it is potentially too late to do anything else but stop driving the car and contact the manufacturer.
Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have all issued urgent notices to customers fitted with the potentially deadly Takata NADI 5-AT airbag, which has killed at least two people in Australia.
Their advice? Stop driving immediately and contact them. If the car is listed as being fitted with the bags, the companies will do everything they can – including negotiating a buy-back – to get the cars off the road.
“Given the age of these vehicles, replacement parts are no longer in production and therefore are not currently available,” says the ACCC.
The recall affects cars and vans built between 1996 and 1999, and it includes the Mazda Eunos 800, the Toyota Starlet, Paseo, Celica and RAV4, as well as the Suzuki Grand Vitara.
The Mitsubishi CE Mirage (1997-2000), CE Lancer (1997-2000), NL Pajero (1997-2000), WA Express (1997-2000) and WA Starwagon (1997-2000) are all affected, and were all built between May 31 1996, and September 30 1991 and sold between July 22, 1996 and July 5, 2001.
Affected examples of the Honda Accord (1998-2000), Legend (1998-2000) and CR-V (1998-2000) were sold between May 1, 1996, and February 28, 2000.
BMW urgently recalled 12,000 E46 3 Series cars in November with the offer of a buy-back, while even cutting-edge cars like the Tesla Model S were also hit, with 1,263 of the all-electric cars in Australia now requiring replacement airbags to be fitted.
All companies are obliged to complete the recall by the end of 2020.
“This is the first time that a recall has been made mandatory in this country, but it’s a substantial public health issue,” FCAI chairman Tony Weber said last year. “If we need to address it – and we do – deregistration is the only way we are going to get that universal approach that is needed.”
Head to www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au to find out your car’s status, or check by texting TAKATA to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224).